Friday, June 22, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Lygosoma peninsulare & L. kinabatanganensis • On the Taxonomy of Lygosoma bampfyldei Bartlett, 1895 (Squamata: Scincidae) with Descriptions of New Species from Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia and the Resurrection of Lygosoma schneideri Werner, 1900

 Lygosoma peninsulare 
Grismer, Quah, Dzulkefly & Yambun, 2018

A reassessment of the taxonomy of Lygosoma bampfyldei based on morphology and color pattern indicates that it is a species complex containing L. bampfyldei Bartlett, 1895 from the Rajang River, Sarawak and Croker Range, Sabah in East Malaysia; Lygosoma peninsulare sp. nov. from Bukit Larut, Perak and 13.5 km east of Jeli, Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia; Lygosoma kinabatanganensis sp. nov. from the Kinabatangan District, Deramakot camp (=Deramakot Sabah Forestry Department), Sabah, East Malaysia; and L. schneideri Werner, 1900 from Djapura, Indragiri, Sumatra, Indonesia—resurrected herein from the synonymy of L. bampfyldei. The new taxonomy aligns itself well with a growing body of literature demonstrating that semi-fossorial and fossorial Sundaic skinks are more diverse than previously considered.

Keywords: Reptilia, Sundaland, skinks, systematics, new species

L. Lee Grismer, Evan S. H. Quah, Zaharil Dzulkefly and Paul Yambun. 2018. On the Taxonomy of Lygosoma bampfyldei Bartlett, 1895 (Squamata: Scincidae) with Descriptions of New Species from Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia and the Resurrection of Lygosoma schneideri Werner, 1900.   Zootaxa.  4438(3); 528–550. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4438.3.6

[Botany • 2018] Chamaelirium viridiflorum (Melanthiaceae) • A New Species from Jiangxi, China

Chamaelirium viridiflorum L. Wang, Z.C. Liu & W.B. Liao

in Liu, Feng, Wang & Liao, 2018. 


Chamaelirium viridiflorum (Melanthiaceae), a new species from southern Jiangxi, China, is described and illustrated. It is similar to C. koidzumiana in their ellipitic or ovate leaf blade and slender petiole, but differs by its zygomorphic flowers and unequal tepals. Besides Chamaelirium viridiflorum is also similar to C. shiwandashanensis in their actinomorphic flowers, but distinguished by its spatulate to obovate leaf blade, distinct petiole and 0.8–1.1 cm long tepals. This new species has an obvious feature that the color of tepals is still greenish at the end of the flowering period.

Keywords: China, Chamaelirium, Melanthiaceae, New species, Taxonomy, Monocots

FIGURE 3. Chamaelirium viridiflorum L. Wang, Z.C. Liu & W.B. Liao.
A & B, Habit; C & D, Blade; E & H, Spike; F, Flower, lateral view; G, Pistil and stamen; I, Capsule.

Chamaelirium viridiflorum L. Wang, Z.C. Liu & W.B. Liao, sp. nov. 

 Chamaelirium viridiflorum is most similar to C. shiwandashanensis, but differs by its distinctly petiolate leaves; greenish inflorescence rachis; and longer tepals (0.8–1.1 cm).

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the flowers of this new species that are green throughout the flowering period, differing from those of all other known species.

Zhong-Cheng Liu, Lu Feng, Lei Wang and Wen-Bo Liao. 2018. Chamaelirium viridiflorum (Melanthiaceae), A New Species from Jiangxi, China. Phytotaxa. 357(2); 126–132.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.357.2.5

[PaleoMammalogy • 2018] Junzi imperialis • New Genus of Extinct Holocene Gibbon associated with Humans in Imperial China

 Junzi imperialis
Turvey, Bruun, Ortiz, Hansford, Hu, Ding, Zhang & Chatterjee, 2018

Although all extant apes are threatened with extinction, there is no evidence for human-caused extinctions of apes or other primates in postglacial continental ecosystems, despite intensive anthropogenic pressures associated with biodiversity loss for millennia in many regions. Here, we report a new, globally extinct genus and species of gibbon, Junzi imperialis, described from a partial cranium and mandible from a ~2200- to 2300-year-old tomb from Shaanxi, China. Junzi can be differentiated from extant hylobatid genera and the extinct Quaternary gibbon Bunopithecus by using univariate and multivariate analyses of craniodental morphometric data. Primates are poorly represented in the Chinese Quaternary fossil record, but historical accounts suggest that China may have contained an endemic ape radiation that has only recently disappeared.


Samuel T. Turvey, Kristoffer Bruun, Alejandra Ortiz, James Hansford, Songmei Hu, Yan Ding, Tianen Zhang and Helen J. Chatterjee. 2018. New Genus of Extinct Holocene Gibbon associated with Humans in Imperial China. Science. 360(6395); 1346-1349. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4903

The noblewoman's ape
Human activities are causing extinctions across a wide array of taxa. Yet there has been no evidence of humans directly causing extinction among our relatives, the apes. Turvey et al. describe a species of gibbon found in a 2200- to 2300-year-old tomb ascribed to a Chinese noblewoman. This previously unknown species was likely widespread, may have persisted until the 18th century, and may be the first ape species to have perished as a direct result of human activities. This discovery may also indicate the existence of unrecognized primate diversity across Asia.

Vanished ape found in ancient Chinese tomb, giving clues to its disappearance
Chinese grave reveals vanished gibbon genus
Ancient Royal Tomb Yields Strange New Ape Species via @NatGeo
Ancient Chinese tomb reveals previously unknown extinct species

[Paleontology • 2018] Cicada Fossils (Cicadoidea: Tettigarctidae and Cicadidae) with A Review of the Named Fossilised Cicadidae

(4) Platypedia primigenia, nearly entire specimen, wings superimposed over ventro-lateral body, in Colorado University Museum of Natural History, USA. (5a) Tibicina gigantea holotype, dorsal, entire specimen, from Boulard & Riou (1989). (5b) Tibicina gigantea close-up of left forewing base, from Boulard & Riou (1989). (6) Tibicina haematodes, forewing, from Wagner (1967). (7) Tibicina sakalai, holotype, including counterpart, female, lateral, from Prokop & Boulard (2000).

(1) Graptopsaltria aff. nigrofuscata forewing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12018; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (4) Minyscapheus dominicanus, holotype, whole specimen in amber; in collection George Poinar; image courtesy George Poinar. (5) Miocenoprasia grasseti, holotype, ventral impression; in Riou collection, Musée de Paléontologie, La Voulte-sur-Rhône, France; image courtesy Bernard Riou.  (7) Dominicicada youngi, holotype, hatchling in amber; in collection George Poinar; image courtesy George Poinar.

(2) Tanna? sp. hindwing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12017; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (3) Auritibicen bihamatus forewing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12045; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (6) Yezoterpnosia nigricosta forewing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12019; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (8) Burmacicada protera, holotype, hatchling in amber; in collection George Poinar; image courtesy George Poinar.

in Moulds, 2018. 

The Cicadoidea comprise two families, the Cicadidae and the Tettigarctidae. This paper evaluates the status and taxonomy of all named Cicadoidea fossils belonging to the Cicadidae. Shcherbakov (2009) has previously revised the Tettigarctidae. Two new genera are described, Camuracicada gen. n. and Paleopsalta gen. n., for Camuracicada aichhorni (Heer, 1853) comb. n. and Paleopsalta ungeri (Heer, 1853) comb. n. A lectotype is designated for Cicada emathion Heer, 1853.

          Cicada grandiosa Scudder, 1892 is transferred to Hadoa Moulds, 2015 as Hadoa grandiosa comb. n.; Oncotympana lapidescens J. Zhang, 1989 is transferred to Hyalessa China, 1925 as Hyalessa lapidescens comb. n.; Meimuna incasa J. Zhang, Sun & X. Zhang, 1994 and Meimuna miocenica J. Zhang & X. Zhang, 1990 are transferred to Cryptotympana Stål, 1861 as Cryptotympana incasa comb. n. and Cryptotympana miocenica comb. n.; Tibicen sp. aff. japonicus Kato, 1925 is transferred to Auritibicen as Auritibicen sp. aff. japonicus comb. n., and Terpnosia sp. aff. vacua Olivier, 1790 is transferred to Yezoterpnosia Matsumura, 1917 as Yezoterpnosia sp. aff. vacua comb. n. The generic placement of two other fossils is changed to reflect current classification, those species now being Auritibicen bihamatus (Motschulsky, 1861) and Yezoterpnosia nigricosta (Motschulsky, 1866).

         Two species, Davispia bearcreekensis Cooper, 1941 and Lithocicada perita Cockerell, 1906, are transferred from the subfamily Cicadinae to the Tibicininae, tribe Tibicinini. Cicadatra serresi (Meunier, 1915) is also transferred from the Cicadinae to the Cicadettinae because the Cicadatrini have recently been transferred from the Cicadinae to the Cicadettinae (Marshall et al. 2018).

         Miocenoprasia grasseti Boulard and Riou, 1999 is transferred from the tribe Prasiini to the Lamotialnini. Tymocicada gorbunovi Becker-Migdisova, 1954 is transferred from the Dundubiini to the Cryptotympanini; Paracicadetta oligocenica Boulard & Nel, 1990 is transferred from the Cicadettini to the Pagiphorini and Minyscapheus dominicanus Poinar et al., 2011 is assigned to the Taphurini. Names of species once considered to belong in Cicadidae, but now excluded, are listed with explanation.

Keywords: Hemiptera, Eocene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Miocene, Oligocene, Paleocene, Quaternary, Pleistocene, Pliocene, Tertiary

PLATE 2. (1) Lyristes renei, holotype, from Riou (1995). (2) Auritibicen sp. aff. japonicus comb. n., in Osaka Museum of Natural History, image Shigehiko Shiyake. (3) Paracicadetta oligocenica, holotype, part and counterpart, from Boulard & Nel (1990). (4) Platypedia primigenia, nearly entire specimen, wings superimposed over ventro-lateral body, in Colorado University Museum of Natural History, USA; UCM 29658, not the type; image David Zelagin. (5a) Tibicina gigantea holotype, dorsal, entire specimen, from Boulard & Riou (1989). (5b) Tibicina gigantea close-up of left forewing base, from Boulard & Riou (1989). (6) Tibicina haematodes, forewing, from Wagner (1967). (7) Tibicina sakalai, holotype, including counterpart, female, lateral, from Prokop & Boulard (2000).

PLATE 3. (1) Graptopsaltria aff. nigrofuscata forewing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12018; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (2) Tanna? sp. hindwing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12017; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (3) Auritibicen bihamatus forewing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12045; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (4) Minyscapheus dominicanus, holotype, whole specimen in amber; in collection George Poinar; image courtesy George Poinar. (5) Miocenoprasia grasseti, holotype, ventral impression; in Riou collection, Musée de Paléontologie, La Voulte-sur-Rhône, France; image courtesy Bernard Riou. (6) Yezoterpnosia nigricosta forewing; in National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan; NSM-PA12019; image courtesy Yasunari Shigeta. (7) Dominicicada youngi, holotype, hatchling in amber; in collection George Poinar; image courtesy George Poinar. (8) Burmacicada protera, holotype, hatchling in amber; in collection George Poinar; image courtesy George Poinar.

M. S. Moulds. 2018. Cicada Fossils (Cicadoidea: Tettigarctidae and Cicadidae) with A Review of the Named Fossilised Cicadidae. Zootaxa.  4438(3); 443–470. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4438.3.2

[Botany • 2018] Sindora stipitata (Detarioideae, Leguminosae) • A New Species from Northeastern Thailand

Sindora stipitata Chatan & Promprom

in Promprom, Chatan & Saisaard, 2018
มะค่าแต้นครพนม  ||  DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.100.25870 

Sindora stipitata, a new species in the subfamily Detarioideae (Leguminosae), collected from Nakhon Phanom Province, Thailand, is described and illustrated. The new species is morphologically similar to S. leiocarpa but differs in its smaller stature (3–5 m high), 6-foliolate paripinnate leaves, falcate persistent stipules, presence of a petal auricle, absence of a petal claw, stipitate ovary and capitate stigma. A key to the Thailand and Malesia species of Sindora is provided.

Keywords: Sindora, Fabaceae, Nakhon Phanom Province, plant diversity, Thailand, taxonomy

Figure 1. Sindora stipitata Chatan & Promprom, sp. nov.  A habit and habitat B branches and inflorescences C branch with leaves and stipules D branch with fruits.

 Photographs of the type specimen by W. Chatan. 

Figure 2. Line drawing of Sindora stipitata Chatan & Promprom, sp. nov. A a branch with leaves and inflorescence B floral bud C floret D posterior sepal (abaxial side) E posterior sepal (adaxial side) F one of the remaining narrower sepal (abaxial side) G one of the remaining narrower sepal (adaxial side) H petal (adaxial side) I free staminode J fused stamen K pistil.
Illustration by W. Chatan (based on type specimen).

Sindora stipitata Chatan & Promprom, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Sindora stipitata is very similar to S. leiocarpa from Malesia, but it is easily distinguished by the following characters: a smaller stature (3-5 m high), 6-foliolate paripinnate leaves, falcate persistent stipules, presence of a petal auricle, absence of a petal claw, stipitate ovary and capitate stigma.

Distribution: The new species is a Thai endemic and is known from only the type locality in the Phulangka National Park, Ban Pheang District, Nakhon Phanom Province, North-eastern Thailand.

Ecology: This new species grows in open areas of dry deciduous forest at an elevation of 250–350 m.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to its distinctly long ovary stipe. This character is one of many morphological characters that distinguishes the new species from its closely related species.

Vernacular name: Ma Kha Tae Nakhon Phanom - มะค่าแต้นครพนม, Mak Tae.

Preliminary conservation status: Sindora stipitata is known only from the type locality and its estimated extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2. The number of mature individuals was less than 1,000 and the occupied area is continuing to decline slightly. Therefore, it should be considered as “Critically Endangered” according to the IUCN criteria B1 (IUCN 2017).

 Wilawan Promprom, Wannachai Chatan and Peerapon Saisaard. 2018. Sindora stipitata (Detarioideae, Leguminosae), A New Species from Thailand. PhytoKeys. 100: 149-156.  DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.100.25870

[Herpetology • 2018] Sphenomorphus yersini • A New Skink of the Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Scincidae) from Hon Ba Nature Reserve, southern Vietnam

Sphenomorphus yersini 
Nguyen, Nguyen, Nguyen, Orlov & Murphy, 2018

Yersin’s Forest Skink || DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.6

A new forest skink of the genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 is described from Khanh Hoa Province, southern Vietnam based on morphological characters of four specimens and a fragment of 653 nucleotides of the gene COI. Sphenomorphus yersini sp. nov. is characterized by the following morphological characters: medium size in adults (snout-vent length up to 55 mm); tail length/snout-vent length ratio 1.81; toes reach to fingers when limbs adpressed; midbody scale rows 32–34, smooth; paravertebral scales 61–69; ventral scale rows 58–67; subcaudal scales 112; supraoculars four, rarely five; prefrontals in broad contact with one another; loreal scales two; tympanum deeply sunk; smooth lamellae beneath finger and toe IV 10–12 and 18–20 respectively; a pair of enlarged precloacal scales; hemipenis deeply forked and asymmetrical with two differently sized smooth lobes. The new species differs from its most similar congener, Sphenomorphus buenloicus Darevsky & Nguyen, 1983, by 16.4–16.7% uncorrected p-distance in COI sequences.

Keywords: Reptilia, COI gene, forest skink, Sphenomorphus buenloicus, Sphenomorphus yersini, asymmetrical hemipenis

Sphenomorphus yersini sp. nov.

Etymology. We name this new species in honor of the famous physician and bacteriologist, Alexandre Yersin (1863–1943), who discovered the bacterium responsible for bubonic plague. Hon Ba NR associates with the name of Alexandre Yersin who built a research station on the top of the mountain and worked there. Currently, the research station has been reconstructed and opened to visitors. We recommend Yersin’s Forest Skink as the common name of this new species.

Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Luan Thanh Nguyen, Vu Dang Hoang Nguyen, Nikolai L Orlov and Robert W. Murphy. 2018.  A New Skink of the Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Scincidae) from Hon Ba Nature Reserve, southern Vietnam. Zootaxa. 4438(2); 313–326. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.6

Thursday, June 21, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Liolaemus audituvelatus • Molecular Evidence for Conspecificity of Two Desert Liolaemus Lizards (Iguania: Liolaemidae)

Individuals from a) near Caspana (MUAP-114), near type locality for Liolaemus audituvelatus;
b) Diego de Almagro, type locality of
 L. manueli;
 c) and d) Altos Quebrada Agua Colorada.

in Gamboa, Correa, Marambio-Alfaro, et al., 2018.

Liolaemus audituvelatus (Núñez & Yáñez 1983) and L. manueli (Núñez, Navarro, Garín, Pincheira-Donoso & Meriggio 2003) are endemic species of the Atacama Desert of northern Chile that belong to the montanus group. Both species are considered cryptic from each other and can only be distinguished by their distribution ranges and karyotypes. Originally, there was a wide separation zone between their known distribution ranges, but later collections reduced the gap from 430 km to only 150 km. In this study, we review the geographic information about both species and report new localities within the distribution gap, where species identification becomes difficult. We performed a molecular phylogenetic analysis and applied several species delimitation methods to reassess the taxonomic status of both nominal species and new intermediate populations. Our analyses support the placement of L. manueli in the synonymy of L. audituvelatus. We discuss the biogeographic and conservation implications of this new synonymy. 

Key words: Atacama Desert, synonymy, species delimitation, Liolaemus audituvelatusLmanueliPhrynosaura Introduction

FIGURE 2. Individuals from a) near Caspana (MUAP-114), near type locality for Liolaemus audituvelatus; b) Diego de Almagro, type locality of L. manueli; c) and d) Altos Quebrada Agua Colorada; e) and f) Barranquilla (near Caseron). f) is a gravid female. Note that b) male of L. audituvelatus from known distribution and d) male of L. manueli from type locality, are identical and were found 300 km away (in straight line); and, a) and e) are also similar and were found 600 km away (in straight line).

 Margarita R. De Gamboa, Claudio Correa, Yery Marambio-Alfaro, Edvin Riveros-Riffo and Juan C. Ortiz. 2018. Molecular Evidence for Conspecificity of Two Desert Liolaemus Lizards (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Zootaxa. 4438(2); 283–298. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.4


[Ichthyology • 2018] Distribution and Recruitment of Young-of-the-Year Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas, off Southern California

Young-of-the-Year  Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas Ayres, 1859

in Benseman & Allen. 2018. 

This study identified nursery habitat, recruitment patterns, the planktonic larval duration (PLD), size and age at settlement, and growth rate of the young-of-the-year (YOY) Giant Sea Bass (GSB), Stereolepis gigas, off Southern California. A total of 160 YOY GSB were sighted on 150 transects over a three-year period. Young-of-the-year GSB were relatively rare (maximum density of 40/ha) and recruitment was limited to a few areas. In 2014–2015, densities of YOY GSB were significantly higher at six locations off sandy beaches nearest the heads of submarine canyons off Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, and La Jolla, California. The vast majority of occurrences of YOY (73%) were within 500 m of the heads of submarine canyons. Three color phases of YOY were discovered ranging (smallest to largest individuals) from black to brown to orange. Recruitment occurred from July through February with peak abundances occurring in the late summer months from August through October. YOY occurred at depths from 2 m to nearly 10 m. Overall, size of YOY GSB increased with depth in the shallow sand riffle zone. YOY grew rapidly at 1.23 mm/day (n = 23) with collected individuals ranging from 31 to 84 d old based on daily ring increments in otoliths. The planktonic larval duration was estimated to be about one lunar month (26.8±2.4 d) based on the presence of the first settlement check and size of earliest settlers. Size at settlement was estimated to be 14.4±3.0 mm TL (10.6±2.5 mm standard length [SL]). This information adds substantially to our knowledge of early developmental processes and recruitment patterns of Giant Sea Bass that are crucial to our understanding of their life history and to making informed decisions regarding fisheries management policies and conservation efforts.

Fig. 1. A YOY Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas, photographed over a typical, nearshore, sandy bottom off the Southern California coast.
Inset top: an adult Giant Sea Bass estimated at 2 m in total length photographed off Catalina Island, California.

 Photo: Mike Couffer.

Stephanie A. Benseman and Larry G. Allen. 2018. Distribution and Recruitment of Young-of-the-Year Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas, off Southern California. Copeia. 106(2); 312-320. DOI: 10.1643/CE-18-021 

[Herpetology • 2018] Amolops gerutu & A. australis • Elevational Size Variation and Two New Species of Torrent Frogs (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops Cope) from Peninsular Malaysia

[A, C]  Amolops larutensis (Boulenger, 1899)
[B, D] Amolops gerutu 
Chan, Abraham, Grismer & Grismer, 2018

  (A) female Amolops larutensis from Fraser's Hill, Pahang; (B) female A. gerutu from Chemerong, Pahang;
 (C) male A. larutensis from Fraser's Hill; (D) male A. gerutu from Sekayu, Terengganu;

Previously, only one species of torrent frog (Amolops larutensis) was thought to occur throughout Peninsular Malaysia. However, genomic work has demonstrated that populations from eastern Peninsular Malaysia form two separate lineages that are genetically distinct from A. larutensis that is now restricted to the western half of Peninsular Malaysia. This study demonstrates that all three lineages can be morphologically distinguished from each other, thereby providing additional support for the recognition of the eastern lineages as two distinct species. These lineages are described herein as Amolops gerutu sp. nov. from the eastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, and A. australis sp. nov. from the southern-most state of Johor. In general, these two new species form a clade that is sister to A. larutensis and can be readily distinguished from it by having: (1) considerably denser and more pronounced dorsal tubercles, and (2) the posterodorsal surface of thighs having dense, dark stippling as opposed to broad vermiculations. Although differences in other morphometric characters were detected, their utility as diagnostic characters should be applied with caution due to the large intraspecific variation that overlaps among different species in many of the characters we measured. As such, we advocate for the use of tuberculation and pattern of the posterodorsal portion of the thighs as primary diagnostic characters. These characters can readily distinguish A. larutensis from the two new species. To differentiate A. australis sp. nov. from A. gerutu sp. nov. and A. larutensis, body size can be a good diagnostic character as A. australis sp. nov. is significantly smaller in both males (mean = 31.04 ± 1.59 mm) and females (mean = 46.48 ± 3.2 mm). Additionally, we show a strong positive correlation between body size and elevation, with populations from montane forests (>900 m asl) being considerably larger than populations at lower elevations.
Keywords: Amphibia, Taxonomy, systematics, morphology, amphibian, cryptic species, body size

Amolops gerutu sp. nov.
Tuberculated Torrent Frog

Amolops larutensis Sumarli, Grismer, Anuar, Muin & Quah, 2015, pp 4,9,12.

Distribution. Besides the type locality, Amolops gerutu sp. nov. has been documented from a number of other localities east of the Titiwangsa mountain range including Gunung Stong Forest Reserve, in the state of Kelantan; Lata Tembakah, Lata Belatan, and Sekayu Recreational Forest in the state of Terengganu (Dring 1979; Sumarli et al. 2015); and Sungai Lembing, Sungai Pandan Waterfall, and Chemerong Amenity Forest in the state of Pahang. At Gunung Stong, A. gerutu sp. nov. occurs in syntopy with A. larutensis (Fig. 1).

Natural history. Like most congeners, Amolops gerutu sp. nov. is a strict torrent specialist that only occurs within or along torrential zones of rocky streams from lowland to montane forests. During the day, frogs dwell in rock cracks and sheltered areas among boulder stacks along streams and are rarely seen out in the open. They can be seen in abundance at night, most frequently on boulders by splash zones and occasionally on adjacent low vegetation. When disturbed, frogs dive into the rapids and float downstream. Like other congeners, tadpoles of this species are gastromyzophorous (Pham et al. 2015) and can be seen clinging onto boulders in the splash zone. On such boulders, tadpoles are usually observed above or just below the water line.

Etymology. The specific epithet “gerutu” (English pronunciation “gir-roo-too”) refers to the Malay word of the same construct, meaning “tubercle”, in reference to the pronounced dorsal tubercles that are diagnostic of this species.

Amolops australis sp. nov.
Southern Torrent Frog

Amolops larutensis, Ahmad, Senawi & Lim 2004, p 26; Belabut & Hashim, 2005, p 200; Wood, Grismer, Youmans, Nasir, Ahmad & Senawi, 2008, p 118; Grismer & Pan, 2008, p. 277 (in part); Shahriza, Ibrahim, Anuar & Muin, 2012, p 558, 561.
Staurois larutensis, Belabut & Hashim, 2004, pp. 67, 69.

Distribution. Amolops australis sp. nov. is only known from the southern state of Johor where it has been confirmed to occur in Endau-Rompin National Park and Bantang River Amenity Forest. It is presumed to occur more widely in suitable habitats in the surrounding southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

Natural history. The natural history of this species is similar to that of Amolops gerutu sp. nov. and A. larutensis. No information is available for tadpoles.

Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word “ australis ”, meaning “southern” in English, and is applied in reference to the distribution of this species in southern Peninsular Malaysia that also represents the southern-most distributional limit of the entire genus.

Chan Kin Onn, Robin Kurian Abraham, Jesse L. Grismer and L. Lee Grismer. 2018. Elevational Size Variation and Two New Species of Torrent Frogs from Peninsular Malaysia (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops Cope). Zootaxa. 4434(2); 250–264. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.2.2

Kin Onn Chan, Alana M. Alexander, Lee L. Grismer, et al. 2017. Species Delimitation with Gene Flow: A Methodological Comparison and Population Genomics Approach to Elucidate Cryptic Species Boundaries in Malaysian Torrent Frogs.  Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14296 

[Herpetology • 2018] Pseudopaludicola florencei • A New Species of Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from eastern Brazil, with Novel Data on the Advertisement Call of Pseudopaludicola falcipes (Hensel)

Pseudopaludicola florencei 
Andrade, Haga, Lyra, Leite, Kwet, Baptista Haddad, Toledo & Giaretta, 2018

The Neotropical genus Pseudopaludicola includes 21 species, which occur throughout South America. Recent studies suggested that the population of Andaraí, in the state of Bahia, is an undescribed species, related to P. pocoto. Herein we formally describe this new species from lowlands of eastern Brazil. Recognition of this new species is supported by adult morphology, advertisement call, karyotype, and molecular data. It is diagnosed mainly by its small size, terminal phalanges knobbed (lack any expansion of the digital tips), proportionally short hindlimbs, 11 pairs of chromosomes, and advertisement call composed of series of three-pulsed notes, emitted at a high rate. In addition, we report for the first time the presence of P. pocoto in the campo rupestre (rupestrian grasslands) of Chapada Diamantina, a population with a much darker dorsal coloration than the population from the type locality. We also redescribed the advertisement call of P. falcipes based on recordings from topotypic males.

Keywords: Amphibia, Advertisement call, bioacoustics, integrative taxonomy, Pseudopaludicola pocoto, morphologically cryptic species

FIGURE 3. Holotype and three paratypes of Pseudopaludicola florencei sp. nov. in life.
(A) ZUEC 23521 (holotype, adult male, call voucher, SVL = 12.9 mm), (B) ZUEC 23523 (adult female, SVL = 15.5 mm), (C) ZUEC 23520 (adult male, call voucher, SVL = 13.2 mm), and (D) ZUEC 23522 (adult male, SVL = 12.8 mm).

Pseudopaludicola florencei sp. nov.
Pseudopaludicola sp. (Andaraí/BA): Duarte et al. 2010; Andrade et al. 2016
Pseudopaludicola sp. 1 (Andaraí/BA): Veiga-Menoncello et al. 2014


Etymology. The specific name honors Antoine Hercule Romuald Florence. Better known as Hercule Florence, a French artist, painter, polygrapher, and inventor, is acknowledged as the inventor of photography in Brazil in the 19th century. After his return from the Langsdorff’s expedition (from 1826 to 1829), Florence developed a system able to properly describe animal sounds, transcribing them into a five line music staff (Florence 1831, 1876; Toledo & Araújo 2017). Such method, termed as “Zoophonie” by Florence, was the first universal method of describing animal sounds and he is therefore designated as the “father of bioacoustics” (Vielliard 1993; Toledo & Araújo 2017). At least these two techniques (photography and zoophony = bioacoustics) are fundamental for species description nowadays (Köhler et al. 2017). Specifically, bioacoustics has proved to be efficient in clarifying the taxonomy of the genus Pseudopaludicola (as in the present study).

Felipe Silva de Andrade, IIsabelle Aquemi Haga, Mariana Lúcio Lyra, Felipe Sá Fortes Leite, Axel Kwet, Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad,  Luis Felipe Toledo and Ariovaldo Antonio Giaretta. 2018. A New Species of Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro (Anura: Leptodactylidae: Leiuperinae) from eastern Brazil, with Novel Data on the Advertisement Call of Pseudopaludicola falcipes (Hensel)Zootaxa. 4433(1); 71-100. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4433.1.4

BBC News Brasil - Os sapos menores que uma moeda e típicos do Brasil - e que ainda estão sendo descobertos
Os microssapinhos menores que uma moeda e típicos do Brasil - e que ainda estão sendo descobertos

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Primitivus manduriensis • A New Fossil Marine Lizard with Soft Tissues from the Late Cretaceous of southern Italy

Primitivus manduriensis 
Paparella, Palci, Nicosia & Caldwell, 2018
   DOI:  10.1098/rsos.172411 

A new marine lizard showing exceptional soft tissue preservation was found in Late Cretaceous deposits of the Apulian Platform (Puglia, Italy). Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. is not only the first evidence of the presence of dolichosaurs in a southern Italian Carbonate Platform, filling a palaeogeographic gap in the Mediterranean Tethys, but also extends the range of this group to the upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian. Our parsimony analysis recovers a monophyletic non-ophidian pythonomorph clade, including Tetrapodophis amplectus at the stem of Mosasauroidea + Dolichosauridae, which together represent the sister group of Ophidia (modern and fossil snakes). Based on Bayesian inference instead, Pythonomorpha is monophyletic, with Ophidia representing the more deeply nested clade, and the new taxon as basal to all other pythonomorphs. Primitivus displays a fairly conservative morphology in terms of both axial elongation of the trunk and limb reduction, and the coexistence of aquatic adaptations with features hinting at the retention of the ability to move on land suggests a semi-aquatic lifestyle. The exceptional preservation of mineralized muscles, portions of the integument, cartilages and gut content provides unique sources of information about this extinct group of lizards. The new specimen may represent local persistence of a relict dolichosaur population until almost the end of the Cretaceous in the Mediterranean Tethys, and demonstrates the incompleteness of our knowledge of dolichosaur temporal and spatial distributions.

KEYWORDS: Squamata, Pythonomorpha, Apulian Platform, Cretaceous, soft tissue, ultraviolet radiation

Figure 1. Holotype of Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. (MPUR NS 161) at natural (a) and UV (b) light as exposed from the matrix in dorsal view. The imaging under UV radiations is a composite of two pictures. Scale bars: 5 cm. 

 Systematic palaeontology
Reptilia Linnaeus, 1758
Squamata Oppel, 1811
Pythonomorpha Cope, 1869

Definition. Dolichosauridae is here defined as the group including all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with Dolichosaurus longicollis than with Aigialosaurus sp. In our study, this includes the following genera: Dolichosaurus, Pontosaurus, Primitivus gen. nov., Adriosaurus, Acteosaurus, and Aphanizocnemus (cf. Nopcsa [1903] and Conrad [2008]).

Diagnosis. Dolichosauridae is here defined as the group of non-ophidian pythonomorphs characterized by the following combination of features: non-sutural contact between premaxilla and maxilla; jugal lacking large posterior process; postorbital portion of postfrontal + postorbital forming half or more of the posterior orbital margin; hypapophyses/hypapophyseal peduncles extending to the tenth presacral/precloacal vertebra or beyond (10–12 cervical vertebrae); 32–40 presacral/precloacal vertebrae; reduced scapula and coracoid; tail deep, laterally compressed (cf. Pierce & Caldwell [2004], Caldwell [2006,2000], Palci & Caldwell [2010]).

Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. The genus is named after the famous red wine grape variety, ‘Primitivo’, native to and grown in great quantities in the Salento Peninsula (Puglia, southern Italy). The species name has been chosen to honour the full name of the wine, ‘Primitivo di Manduria’, which is not only produced around the town of Manduria (Taranto, Puglia), but also in other localities of the Salento Peninsula, including Nardò, where the specimen was found.

Holotype. MPUR NS 161, an almost complete skeleton mostly in articulation, exposed in dorsal view, partially embedded in the rock, and missing the terminal portion of the tail and some elements of the skull. Together with the skeleton, there are abundant soft tissues preserved, including permineralized muscle fibres and integument. 

Locality and stratigraphy. Nardò, Lecce (Puglia, southern Italy); higher portion of the informal geological unit ‘Calcari di Melissano’, Apulian Carbonate Platform.

Age. Upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian, based on microfossils.

Diagnosis. The new taxon can be distinguished from other dolichosaurids by the following unique combination of features: contact between frontal and prefrontal limited in the dorsal view; sutural contact between the septomaxilla anterolateral margin and the maxilla; the septomaxilla posterolateral margin in contact with the nasal; 10 cervical vertebrae + 22 dorsal vertebrae (32 presacrals); bowtie-shaped astragalus (with both a dorsal and a ventral notch); calcaneum with a proximal concavity for articulation with the fibula; deeply imbricated, small sub-circular scales on the lateral sides of the trunk and limbs; larger diamond-shaped scales on the trunk dorsal region; transversally expanded subcaudal scales.

Figure 12. Primitivus manduriensis three-dimensional model and life reconstruction. The specimen is preserved in sediments deposited in the shallower portion of an inner lagoon of the Apulian Carbonate Platform, and is inferred to have a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Three-dimensional model (a) and life reconstruction (b) created by Fabio Manucci.

Ilaria Paparella, Alessandro Palci, Umberto Nicosia and Michael W. Caldwell. 2018. A New Fossil Marine Lizard with Soft Tissues from the Late Cretaceous of southern Italy.  Royal Society Open Science.   DOI:  10.1098/rsos.172411

[Ichthyology • 2018] Pethia sahit • A New Syntopic Species of Small Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the Western Ghats of India

Pethia sahit
Katwate, Kumkar, Raghavan & Dahanukar, 2018

A new species of the cyprinid genus Pethia is described from the Hiranyakeshi, a tributary of the Krishna River system in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of peninsular India. The new species, Pethia sahit, is syntopic—and shoals together—with Pethia longicauda, a species described recently from the same river. Pethia sahit is distinguished from P. longicauda and its congeners by a combination of characters like, incomplete lateral line with 3–6 pored scales; 19–22 scales in lateral series; 4½ scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral-line row and 2½ scales between lateral line row and pelvic-fin origin; intercalated scale row originates above and after the 6th scale of the lateral-line scale row; dorsal fin originating behind the pelvic-fin origin; 4+13 abdominal and 12 caudal vertebrae; dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal and caudal fins without any bands or spots, deep yellow-orange in color or deep red with a pale tint of orange in mature males; a dark-black vertically elongate humeral spot, overlapping the 4th lateral-line scale, extending over the base of one scale above and below the 4th scale; caudal peduncle spot dark, covering 14th–16th scales in lateral-line scale row. Genetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene indicates that P. sahit and P. longicauda are not sister taxa. Further, P. sahit has no genetically proximate congener in the Western Ghats region, and differs from known congeners from south and southeast Asia, for which genetic data are available, with genetic distance ranging from 11.8–16.4%.

Keywords: Pisces, freshwater fish; integrative taxonomy; Pethia; sympatry

Unmesh Katwate, Pradeep Kumkar, Rajeev Raghavan and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2018. A New Syntopic Species of Small Barb from the Western Ghats of India (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).  Zootaxa. 4434(3); 529–546. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.3.8